Fatal Attraction

Critics Consensus

A potboiler in the finest sense, Fatal Attraction is a sultry, juicy thriller that's hard to look away from once it gets going.



Total Count: 47


Audience Score

User Ratings: 52,946
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Movie Info

"Fatal attraction" has become a household term for love turned to murderous obsession, thanks to the success of Adrian Lyne's 1987 movie. Dan (Michael Douglas) is a family man whose one-night affair with Alex (Glenn Close) turns into a nightmare when she insists on continuing the relationship, claiming to be carrying his baby. Alex systematically terrorizes Dan, even temporarily kidnapping his daughter, in her attempts to win back his affection. Douglas' besieged family man guiltily tries to preserve his marriage and family from the consequences of his own indiscretion. Close's performance as the love-struck psycho-siren remains her signature role: She conveys the buried feminist message of the film in her challenge to Dan to take responsibility for his sexual behavior. Though many critics acknowlegded the film's striking similarities to Clint Eastwood's 1971 film Play Misty for Me, Fatal Attraction spawned numerous other movies about middle-class families besieged by a lone psychotic intent on infiltrating and destroying the fabric of the family unit, including The Stepfather (1987), Pacific Heights (1990), The Hand That Rocks the Cradle (1992), and Fear (1996). ~ Laura Abraham, Rovi

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Michael Douglas
as Dan Gallagher
Glenn Close
as Alex Forrest
Anne Archer
as Beth Gallagher
Ellen Hamilton Latzen
as Ellen Gallagher
Meg Mundy
as Joan Rogerson
Tom Brennan
as Howard Rogerson
Lois Smith
as Martha
Mike Nussbaum
as Bob Drimmer
J.J. Johnston
as O'Rourke
Michael Arkin
as Lieutenant
Jane Krakowski
as Babysitter
Justine Johnston
as Real Estate Agent
Mary Joy
as Teacher
James Eckhouse
as Man in Japanese Restaurant
Anna Levine
as Secretary
Gregg Scott
as Bar Patron
Jonathan Brandis
as Party Guest
J.D. Hall
as Party Guest
David McCharen
as Party Guest
Larry Moss
as Party Guest
Jan Rabson
as Party Guest
Marilyn Schreffler
as Party Guest
Dennis Tufano
as Party Guest
Sam Coppola
as Fuselli
Judi M. Durand
as Party Guest
Barbara Iley
as Party Guest
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News & Interviews for Fatal Attraction

Critic Reviews for Fatal Attraction

All Critics (47) | Top Critics (9)

  • Under the direction of Adrian Lyne, most of the picture's situations seem like randomly chosen place holders, flat events that just fill time until the final bizarre confrontation.

    Jun 12, 2013 | Full Review…
  • [The film brings] horror home to a place where the grownup moviegoer actually lives.

    Feb 11, 2008 | Full Review…
  • The screws are tightened expertly in this suspenseful meller about a flipped-out femme who makes life hell for the married man who scorns her.

    Feb 11, 2008 | Full Review…

    Variety Staff

    Top Critic
  • While billed as a romance and a thriller, the film strictly qualifies as neither, appealing to our prurience, guilt, hatred, and dread.

    Feb 11, 2008 | Full Review…
  • A predictable dog's dinner of Pavlovian thriller clichés, this will appeal strongly to those who think women should be kept on a short lead.

    Jan 26, 2006 | Full Review…
    Time Out
    Top Critic
  • Years hence, it will be possible to pinpoint the exact moment that produced Fatal Attraction, Adrian Lyne's new romantic thriller, and the precise circumstances that made it a hit.

    May 20, 2003 | Rating: 4/5

Audience Reviews for Fatal Attraction

  • Nov 19, 2016
    Honestly this is just a mediocre film at best. I can't understand why this is supposed to be so critically acclaimed.
    Stephen S Super Reviewer
  • May 31, 2016
    A bit slow to begin with, Fatal Attraction borrowed elements from Psycho but unleashed the thriller elements. It may seem a bit corny now, but it was one of the finest when it was released.
    Sylvester K Super Reviewer
  • Nov 29, 2014
    Even almost thirty years later, Fatal Attraction retains its volatile bite. Its slow pace may turn some away, but its thrills are well-preserved.
    Isaac H Super Reviewer
  • Aug 19, 2013
    For the life of me, I can't understand what the appeal of Glenn Close was for Michael Douglas' character but he nonetheless did the deed and we have some wonderful creepy moments that people still talk about to this day. Well delivered.
    John B Super Reviewer

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